Sanskrit quote nr. 11 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अंसासक्तकपोलवंशवदनव्यासक्तबिम्बाधर-द्वन्द्वोदीरितमन्दमन्दपवन्प्रारब्धमुग्धध्वनिः ।
ईषद्वक्रिमलोलहारनिकरः प्रत्येकरोकानन-न्यञ्चच्चञ्चदुदञ्चदङ्गुलिचयस्त्वां पातु राधाधवः ॥

aṃsāsaktakapolavaṃśavadanavyāsaktabimbādhara-dvandvodīritamandamandapavanprārabdhamugdhadhvaniḥ |
īṣadvakrimalolahāranikaraḥ pratyekarokānana-nyañcaccañcadudañcadaṅgulicayastvāṃ pātu rādhādhavaḥ ||


Meter name: Śārdūlavikrīḍita; Type: Akṣaracchanda (sama); 19 syllables per quarter (pāda).

Primary English translation:

“May Śrī Kṛṣṇa protect you—he, who produced sweet sounds (on his flute) by blowing air very gently with his bimba-like lips having the flute placed in his mouth and closely touching the cheek and shoulder, who was having the mass of garlands (vanamālās) swaying and curving slightly (while playing on the flute), and whose fingers were moving up and down along the holes of the flute.”

(translation by A. A. Ramanathan)

Secondary translations:

“The Lord’s cheek rests on His shoulder while His flute is placed to His mouth. Gentle puffs of air flowing from His red lips are giving rise to an enchanting tune. The strings of necklaces around His neck are tilting slightly to one side and are pendulating gently. While His fingers are moving up and down over each hole of His flute. May that lord and master of Rādhā protect you.”

(translation by Gaurav Raina)



Presented above is a Sanskrit aphorism, also known as a subhāṣita, which is at the very least, a literary piece of art. This page provides critical research material such as an anlaysis on the poetic meter used, an English translation, a glossary explaining technical terms, and a list of resources including print editions and digital links.

Glossary of Sanskrit terms

Aṃsa (अंस, amsha) refers to the “shoulders” of the human body. (more info)

Kapola (कपोल) refers to the “cheeks”. The use of this term dates bake to even the sciences of dramatic performance (nāṭyaśāstra), where it is listed as a part of the human body with which six different gestures (āṅgika) are performed. (more info)

Vaṃśa (वंश, vamsha) is a general term and translates to “cross-beam”, “bamboo cane” or “joint”, but in this context refers to the “(bamboo) flute”. (more info)

Aṅguli (अङ्गुलि, anguli) refers to the fingers. It is ultimately derived from aṅga (‘limb’ or ‘member’). (more info)

Rādhā (राधा, radha) refers to “the beloved of Kṛṣṇa” and prefixed with pātu, it translates to “protector of Rādhā” (eg., husband). (more info)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Saduktikarṇāmṛta (Sures Chandra Banerji: 285; Rāmāvatāra Śarmā: 1.57, 5): Name of a Sanskrit anthology, containing poetical verses. The final section is devoted to verses of the author’s father (Vaṭudāsa). The book was compiled by Śrīdharadāsa in 1205.
More info

Padyāvalī 261: A collection of devotional verses in Sanskrit belonging to the Gauḍīya branch of Vaiṣṇavism. The book was compiled by Rūpa Gosvāmī in the 16th century.
More info


Śrīdharadāsa (12th century) is the compiler of the Saduktikarṇāmṛta, into which he included this quote, ascribing the authorship to Keśarakoṇīya (also known as: Keśarakolīyanāthoka). Śrīdharadāsa was active at the Sena court and author of various Sanskrit works. His father was Vaṭudāsa. In one of his major books, the Saduktikarṇāmṛta, he identifies himself as holding a substantial feudal rank (mahāmāṇḍālika).

Rūpa Gosvāmī is the compiler of the Padyāvalī, into which he included this quote, ascribing the authorship to Nāthoka (also known as: Nāthaka, Nāthadhava).

About the Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha

This quote is included within the Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha (महासुभाषितसंग्रह, maha-subhashita-samgraha), which is a compendium of Sanskrit aphorisms (subhāṣita), collected from various sources. Subhāṣita is a genre of Sanskrit literature, exposing the vast and rich cultural heritage of ancient India.

It has serial number 11 and can be found on page 2. (read on

Sanskrit is the oldest living language and bears testimony to the intellectual past of ancient India. Three major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) share this language, which is used for many of their holy books. Besides religious manuscripts, much of India’s ancient culture has been preserved in Sanskrit, covering topics such as Architecture, Music, Botany, Surgery, Ethics, Philosophy, Dance and much more.

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